Tag: SSSF2015

There’s No Stopping Stu

Stu Wright
Stu Wright is a man on a mission, and that mission is his 32 athletes here competing in the 2015 National Team Championships. Nothing is going to keep him from watching them take a run at the title…not even Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Stu is the head coach of the Pinckneyville Community High School shooting program. The owner of Wright’s, a gun shop he opened in the mid 70’s which caters to the clay target shooter, started his high school coaching career back in 2002 when he was asked to coach the school’s FFA squad.

At the time there were just five shooters, enough for a competition squad. Today his program has 32 solid shooters competing in trap, skeet and sporting clays. Here at Nationals he has six seniors who have been with him from between four and seven years, and missing their final run at a national title isn’t something that he’s going to miss.

On Thursday, the first day he could get out of bed after chemo, Stu made it to the World Shooting & Recreational Complex to watch his kids compete in sporting clays. He showed up not knowing where they stood or if they even had a chance at a title. When he found out how they were shooting, well, as Stu put it, “there’s no getting me out of here.”

Led by senior Andy Opp, who was the only high school team shooter to post a perfect 100 on Wednesday and followed that up with 95 on Thursday to claim the individual High Overall title, PCHS Shooting Sports finished as the first place high school team, with 562, and second place among all teams. That made Thursday a very good day in Stu’s book.

Five months ago, back on February 6, Stu Wright learned he had cancer. On February 10 Andy and the rest of his team, the coaches and parents got the news, too.

“It was rough getting the news but then everybody stepped up,” said Opp in describing how the close knit group took the news.

Up until last year Stu Wright was the coach of the team, carrying most all of the responsibility with help from assistant coach Donny Nehring who coached the sporting clays shooters and traveled with the team to major events.

But last year there were 22 team shooters and this year there are 32, a big jump for a community of just 2,500. Stu realized he needed help and built a team of assistant coaches for this season.

“Now I have four fine guys that picked up the torch,” says Wright. And picking up the torch is exactly what was needed since February. Chemo takes a lot out of a person, even one with the drive and enthusiasm that Stu Wright seems to have an endless supply of. On those days, the bad days as Wright refers to them, he refuses to be around the kids because he doesn’t want his cancer to be their burden.

Wright’s motto is ‘Fun With A Gun’ and that’s why he won’t get in the way of his kids’ fun with his cancer. Opp describes his coach as “one of a kind” and says, “Nobody’s going to be like Stu. He’s strict but fun and we always seem to be laughing.”

Going into today’s American Trap finals, Stu’s kids, the boys from that small, tight community of Pinckneyville, Illinois, are ahead by 34 targets after breaking a 482 in their quest for the high school team title, making Coach Wright a very happy man.

With no hope of hiding his pride in their first day’s performance Stu gushes, “That’s totally over our head.” And then he says of his cancer and recent round of chemo, “I have no side effects. I’m on top of the world and it doesn’t get any better than this.”

And that’s why there’s no stopping Stu Wright.

Trap, It’s A Family Thing

Carter Kramer only started shooting trap this past October. But the 12 year old from Quincy, Illinois, was already an active hunter. And while he hunted duck, dove and rabbit whenever the opportunity arose, he has fallen hard for those small orange clay disks.

“I love it because it’s a challenge,” said Carter about his foray into trap. And it’s a challenge the young shooter continues to rise to.

Though very new to trap he has already logged his first 25 straight, and yesterday, armed with a Remington 870 Wingmaster, Carter added another 87 targets to his career total when he and the rest of his Quivering Clays team shot their first 100 of the SCTP American Trap Team Championship.

Though his first 50 still alludes him, Carter is determined to reach that next trap milestone and move on to his first 100 straight this year.

Young athletes like Carter don’t get into trapshooting, and all the way to Sparta, Illinois, and the National Team Championships, without some family support. And for the Kramer family, it’s not just some support but a lot.

Carter’s father Dan started shooting clay targets at the age of 9 using an old spring loaded hand trap and is happy to see his oldest son getting into the sport. Younger brother Austin, 10, is ready to join Carter on the shooting line next year while 5 year old brother Kayden is still a couple years away from joining the Kramer squad.

The Kramers road tripped south to Sparta in force. Joining dad and the boys are mom, granddad and, of course, grandma Donna Lohmeyer who helps herd the boys when Carter isn’t shooting and the sights and sounds of a bustling national championship venue seem to pull them in every direction all at once.

Clearly trapshooting is, indeed, a family event.

Young Women Make Up 18.4% Of Athletes At Nationals

A 2013 research report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation entitled Analysis of Sport Shooting Participation in the U.S. 2008-2012 found that not only were new shooters likely to be younger with 66% falling in the 18-to-34-year-old age group, but they were also likely to be female. NSSF’s findings showed that 37% of new target shooters were women.

Looking around the grounds of the World Shooting & Recreational Complex in Sparta, Illinois, it’s clear that young women are a fast growing segment of both the Scholastic Clay Target Program and the Scholastic Pistol Program.

At this year’s National Team Championships those young ladies with shotguns slung over their shoulders, and those with a pistol tucked away in their range bag, make up 18.4% of the total 2,800-plus athletes in attendance. Among the 2,466 shotgunners they are 17.6% while on the pistol ranges they account for nearly a quarter (24.3%) of the 345 competitors.

Gender Participation
If the broad smiles exhibited during Wednesday night’s Opening Ceremony are any indication, the number of young female athletes participating in the shooting programs of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is likely to grow.


Last Competitor Standing Results

One of the highlights of Nationals week for SCTP athletes is the opportunity to compete in a massive Last Competitor Standing event that give them the opportunity to win guns, gear, and even a scholarship. The event has two components on each of two nights: a competition for anyone who wishes to compete, with men’s and ladies winners taking home guns and other prizes, followed by a competition just for 2015 graduating seniors who competed for $1,000 scholarships presented by the NRA.

Caitlin Cravens and Lane Reinikainen
Wednesday night’s winners Caitlin Cravens and Lane Reinikainen
On Wednesday night, Caitlin Cravens of the Hudson Raiders (Wisconsin) and Lane Reinikainen of the Rice Lake Warbirds (Wisconsin) outlasted more than 500 other competitors to each win a CZ-USA 612 Trap gun.

Among the graduates who competed for $1,000 scholarships, Tori Mann of Maryland and Kolton Manning of Iowa won the Ladies’ and Men’s scholarships, respectively.

Kolton Manning - Tori Mann

During Friday night’s competition, Andy Opp of Pinckneyville High School (IL) finished as the top men’s competitor, while Sabrina Peterson of St. Charles Sportsman’s Club (IL) was the last woman standing. Both won CZ-USA 612 Trap guns.

Winning $1,000 NRA scholarships on Friday night were Amber Rasmussen and Bobby Tate, both of Wisconsin.

Other shooters in the top 10 each night won Nobel Sport ammunition, Randolph Range shooting glasses, and Shamrock Leathers ammo holders.

Please check back for corrected top 10 competitors list

Top Five States At The 2015 Nationals


Participation at the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2015 National Team Championships is broad reaching with 28 states represented. Nearly three quarters (74.1%) of the 2,800+ shooters come from just five states. Here’s how athletes from the SSSF’s Big 5 break out.

Tennessee (25.3%)
The Volunteer State accounts for 25.3% of all athletes with 601 competing in SCTP (24.4%) and 109 (31.6%) in SPP.

Illinois (18.6%)
The home of the World Shooting & Recreational Complex, the Land of Lincoln sent 484 (19.6%) of shotgunners and 40 (11.6%) of the pistol competitors.

Wisconsin (14.9%)
The Badger State athletes came to shoot with 371 (15.0%) in SCTP and 47 (13.6%) in SPP.

Iowa (8.1%)
The Hawkeye State rolled in with 200 (8.2%) of the SCTP athletes and 29 (8.4%) of those in SPP.

Missouri (7.2%)
The Show-Me State showed up with 202 (8.2%) SCTP competitors, and despite not having any shooters in the SPP Nationals they still hold down fifth overall on this list.


First Time at Nationals? Keep These 10 Tips in Mind

WSRC Main Events Building
The Main Events Building is where you’ll find Registration and the answers to your questions.

If you’re going to Sparta, Illinois for your first SCTP-SPP National Team Championships, your head may be spinning with questions. While we can’t offer you a secret for taking home a medal, we can offer you some tips to enhance your enjoyment of Nationals.

  • Read the program. Almost anything you need to know can be found in the Nationals program. You will be able to pick up a printed copy when you arrive at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex, but you can also view it online anytime.

  • Do it all! Participate in as many activities as possible, including the side games. Cover the grounds to see what’s going on, see the exhibition shooting events, and watch anything you aren’t actively engaged in.
  • Stay for the after-hours activities. If you shoot your event and leave every day, you’ll be missing out on fun activities like Last Competitor Standing events, opening ceremonies, the pizza party, an ice cream social, and more.
  • Sign up for text messaging. We’ll pass along information about activities, schedule changes, and other things you need to know to those who opt in. Sign up here.
  • Visit the vendor mall. You’ll have the unique opportunity to visit with many manufacturers of shooting equipment in their own stores at the WSRC. Even if you aren’t buying, it’s the perfect opportunity to work on your wish list.
  • Take photos. Shoot as many photos as you can to help you remember this wonderful experience. Share them in social media with hashtag #SSSF2015, and when you get back home, share them with any sponsors, businesses, or civic groups who support you or have interest in your team.
  • Meet new people. While you will be there with your own team, don’t miss the opportunity to make new friends from all over the country. Be bold and introduce yourself.
  • If you have questions or don’t understand something, just ask. We won’t remember to tell you everything you need to know, but we’re happy for you to ask us. Catch a staff member anytime you see us, and if we aren’t convenient, just head to the Main Events Building. You can get an answer or help there for anything going on at Nationals.
  • Remember that many others are also new. It’s easy to feel intimidated when we enter a new event this large, and we all tend to think we’re the only ones who don’t know how something works. But that isn’t the case at Nationals. You’ll see hundreds of new people all over the place, figuring things out for the first time. You aren’t alone!
  • Have fun! After being safe, the most important thing for you to do at Nationals is enjoy yourself. Shooting is fun, being there with your friends is fun, making new friends is fun — everything at Nationals is fun! Go for it!

Requirements for Personal Golf Cars and Clays Vehicles at Nationals

If you’re planning to bring your own golf car or utility vehicle to the National Team Championships at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex, you must meet some requirements and follow rules for safety and the consideration of other attendees at Nationals.

Every person using their personal clays vehicle must get a permit for the vehicle at the registration desk. At that time, you must provide your driver’s license — a learner’s permit is not sufficient — and proof of insurance.

Only persons 18 years of age or older can register a clays vehicle, and you must be a licensed driver 16 years of age or older to operate it.

Here are the complete rules for operating a personal clays vehicle at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex.

Shoot the HiViz Rimfire Rifle Side Match at Nationals

Whether you’re planning to compete with a shotgun and/or pistol at Nationals in July, this year you will have one more option — rimfire rifle — in a side match sponsored by HiViz Shooting Systems.

Many of our SPP teams have enjoyed shooting this popular side match at some of the SPP state and regional matches this spring. The HiViz Rimfire Side Match will consist of two stages but will otherwise be basically the same as the Scholastic Pistol Program with a .22 LR semiauto box-fed rifle. Rules will be the same as with SPP, including five strings per stage and low ready. The rimfire rifle match will take place at the pistol berms.

For the HiViz Rimfire Side Match only, scoring will be on an individual basis and not count toward a team score.

The top three (3) athlete scores will win a Mossberg Blaze .22LR rifle! Also, just for participating, you’ll be entered to win one of five (5) HiViz $100 gift certificates through a random draw.

Coaches and adults can also join in the fun. The top three (3) adults will win a donation to their teams’ MidwayUSA Foundation endowment accounts: 1st place – $750, 2nd place – $500, and 3rd place – $250.

The entry fee for the HiViz Rimfire Side Match is only $10! So bring your semiauto rifle with a detachable box magazine chambered in .22 LR, plus some extra magazines and ammo, and we’ll see who is the fastest rifle shooter at Nationals!

The HiViz Rimfire Rifle Side Match will be open Monday, July 13 through Thursday, July 16 with 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. slots. A limited number of slots will be available, so sign up now!

For sign-up information or to lock in your time slot, contact Tammy Mowry at tmowry@sssfonline.com.

Two New SCTP Side Events Being Offered at 2015 Nationals

Coaches and athletes will have two new side events to participate in at this year’s SCTP National Team Championships.

Preliminary 16-Yard Trap Singles

    Athletes and teams can register to shoot some preliminary trap targets in this Monday/Tuesday side event. These targets will be registered and we will have some awards for squads and Individuals.

Preliminary 16-Yard Trap Singles – Coach/Athlete

    Coaches and athletes get the chance to compete together! The coach’s score counts as one of the five squad scores. Coaches sign up in the #1 spot and squad four athletes in the next four spots. Squads with coach and four Intermediate/Rookie shooters will be in the Intermediate Division; coach and four Senior Division athletes will be in the Senior Division; and a mixed squad will be in the Open Division. Only one coach per four athletes is eligible. This is designed to be a fun competition, but targets are registered and awards will be offered. This event is sponsored by the ATA.

Make Your Plans for 2015 National Championships

The biggest events of the year are on the 2015 calendar for SCTP and SPP, and your year won’t be complete if you don’t participate in at least one of them!

Registration is now open for SCTP team registration through the SHOT system and for SPP teams.

View the National Championships Program

Save these dates for our 2015 SCTP and SPP National Championship events:

July 13-18SCTP National Championships (American)Sparta, IL
July 13-18SPP Junior/Senior National ChampionshipsSparta, IL
July 27-Aug. 2SCTP National Championships (International)Colorado Springs, CO

In 2014, each discipline experienced record-breaking participation in its national events, and we’re expecting nothing less at this year’s championships. More than 2500 student athletes participated in the National Championship events in Sparta, Illinois alone. In addition, the national championships are the largest source of endowment fund contributions to team accounts for both SCTP and SPP.

Below is the schedule for each discipline at the SCTP-SPP Junior/Senior National Championships in Sparta:

    Sunday, July 12 – Registration
    Monday, July 13 – Skeet, trap handicap/doubles, sporting clays, pistol
    Tuesday, July 14 – Skeet, trap handicap/doubles, sporting clays, pistol
    Wednesday, July 15 – Skeet, trap handicap/doubles, sporting clays, pistol
    Thursday, July 16 – Skeet, trap handicap/doubles, sporting clays, pistol
    Friday, July 17 – Trap, skeet doubles, pistol
    Saturday, July 18 – Trap, skeet doubles, pistol

Mark your calendars for these important events — don’t miss them!

© 2020 - Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Website by Venomous Design